Crypto Mainnet Vs Testnet: Understanding The Key Difference

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What is the difference between mainnet and testnet? In this post, we will discuss what are crypto mainnet vs testnet and their importance.

Mainnet Vs Testnet

What Is A Mainnet?

Mainnet refers to the live version of a cryptocurrency network. This is where transactions take place and new coins are created. 

Mainnet refers to when a blockchain network is fully operational. Cryptocurrency transactions are being broadcasted, verified and stored on a distributed ledger technology.  A mainnet is necessary because it demonstrates the use of a cryptocurrency for a real-world application.

The Mainnet is a blockchain that has been tested, developed, deployed and is active. All transactions are actively being broadcast, verified and recorded on a digital ledger. As a result, there can be no downtime or delays in processing transactions.

How To Set Up And Use A Mainnet Network?

To use a mainnet network you need to set up your wallet with the private keys that belong to it. Once you do so, you can start using it by sending funds from one address to another. In order to do so, just click on “Send” in your wallet’s interface and then type out the amount and recipient addresses.

While there are many wallets available like Token Pocket, Metamask, Tronlink, Klever Wallet etc., Trust Wallet has been rated as one of the best wallets due to its ease-of-use and user-friendly interfaces. It supports multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA) to over 100,000 Tokens across multiple blockchain networks. You can download the app directly from Google Play Store or App Store.

5 Importance of Mainnet

1. Credibility

A project with a mainnet is certainly more credible than a project without one because a mainnet is actually a working protocol. All transactions are live and participants could transact with each other using native coins of the blockchain, and the blockchain is open source and free for everyone to participate in.

Participants can also opt to become a participating nodes and download the protocol software, and assuming that the blockchain is open sourced and free for anyone to use, the underlying codes of blockchain is visible to the whole world and any concerns or issues could be highlighted by participants.

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Therefore, a project with a mainnet enables the development of a live ecosystem of active participants that facilitate real interactions and transactions to occur with complete transparency. Without a main net, the project is purely theoretical or ‘conceptual’ with no working products for participants to test out, making it hard to evaluate the project.

2. Publicity

With a mainnet, all transactions are publicly available and visible to the public. Anyone can see these transactions occurring on the blockchain network and watch as they interact with each other. If a transaction is not transparently published and made public, then there is no way for people to verify its authenticity. Transactions with a mainnet are thus easily verifiable and publicly accessible. 

3. Proof Of Development

The mainnet provides proof of development because it is an actual functioning product. It shows us that the developers have put in effort and resources into developing the project. If a developer claims to have done something but does not provide evidence of it, the claim may not be taken seriously. However, if a developer presents evidence of their work such as a mainnet, it is much easier to trust their claim.

A Mainnet is a verifiably functioning blockchain where real-world transactions can be completed. Launching a mainnet means that the project has successfully developed a functional and working version of their blockchain. This also puts the functionality of the blockchain to the public test. Any bugs or malfunctions could potentially compromise the inner workings of this blockchain. Therefore, launching a mainnet requires significant resources and development to ensure everything works properly. In addition, a mainnet is a living proof that the project is developing their vision well.

4. Build Trust

Launching a mainnet allows users to build trust in the project. Users will know that the project was able to develop a fully functioning blockchain that is ready to use. Once they start using the blockchain, they will see how useful it is and how easy it is to use. They will also see how secure the blockchain is and whether the team behind the project can execute what they promised.

Since mainnets are live networks, users can observe transactions taking place and check whether the data presented is accurate or not. This forms a basis for building trust between projects and individuals. For example, we can see how Bitcoin was launched with a mainnet, which enabled many people to see the inner workings and processes behind the launch of Bitcoin. This helped build trust in Bitcoin among people who were skeptical about the project. They could now view what happened during the launch and confirm whether Bitcoin had been successful or not. Similarly, Ethereum started off as a testnet before launching a mainnet.  

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5. Increase Network Effect

When a project launches a mainnet, the number of participants increases significantly. Since more people participate in the network, it becomes more valuable. As more people join the network, it attracts more people from other networks. As a result, the value of the network grows. 

What Is A Testnet?

Testnets are meant to provide developers with a sandbox environment to build applications and test their functionality before going live on mainnet. They also allow them to experiment without affecting the real network. Testnets are used to simulate or test features before they go live on mainnet. These networks have no value but are useful for testing purposes.

Testnets do not have any real value because no one can use them for transactions. They also don’t generate any coins. The most common reason why people want their own testnet is so that they can test out their smart contracts without worrying about losing any funds. 

Testnets are used by developers to test and troubleshoot all the aspects of blockchain networks before going live on the mainnet. Testnets are similar to beta versions of software programs. They allow developers to test out new features without putting them into production. In this case, testnets are used by blockchain developers to help develop and test their blockchain applications.

Testnets are usually a copy of the mainnet but they aren’t fully functional yet. Developers use them to test everything about the blockchain before launching the main project. 

5 Importance of Testnet

1. Development

Developers use testnets to test out different features of a blockchain network. For example, if someone wants to create an application that allows people to send money, he/she would first conduct tests on a testnet to ensure that it works properly. If everything goes well, then the developer will move his/her code onto the mainnet.

2. Security

A testnet is a safe way for developers to test out the security of their smart contract. If something goes wrong during development, they won’t lose any money. This would be disastrous if the project went live on the mainnet since everyone would invest their funds into the project. So, it’s important that developers test out smart contracts thoroughly before they launch them.

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3. Experimentation

Another advantage of having a testnet is that developers can experiment with different features of a blockchain. They can even run experiments where they change certain parameters and see how things play out. This helps them make better decisions when developing and deploying to the mainnet.

4. Bug Fixing

If a bug occurs in a blockchain application, it is possible that it might affect the entire network. However, if you run your tests on a testnet, you can easily fix these bugs before launching to the mainnet.

It is vital to test out smart contracts before deploying them to the mainnet. While running tests on a testnet isn’t 100% effective, it does offer some protection against major issues.

5. Testing Application Features

Smart contracts are often developed using Solidity programming language. This means that coding tests need to be conducted on a testnet to check whether there are any errors. If there are errors, they should be fixed before deploying to the mainnet or else users could end up losing funds.

5 Key Differences Between a Testnet and a Mainnet?

There are five key differences between a testnet and a mainnet: 

Mainnet  Testnet

Mainnet Tokens have real value  
Testnets Tokens do not have any real value because no one can use them for transactions.
The Mainnet is a blockchain that has been tested, developed, deployed and is active.Testnets are intended to provide a sandbox environment for developers to build and test apps before they go live on the mainnet.
In the world of cryptocurrencies, the mainnet is the ultimate outcome of blockchain projects that enable the sending and receiving of digital currencies.Testnets are used by developers to test and troubleshoot all the aspects of blockchain networks before going live on the mainnet.
Mainnet refers to the live version of a cryptocurrency network.Developers use them to test everything about the blockchain before launching the main project. 
A mainnet has more nodes than a testnetA testnet has fewer nodes than a mainnet


Testnets are used by developers as a sandbox to test out their blockchain projects. They are mostly used to test out different features and functions of a blockchain network. A testnet is also used to test out smart contracts so that they don’t cause any problems once deployed on the mainnet.

Mainnet tokens have real value because they represent actual crypto coins and not just numbers. When a project launches its mainnet, investors will put money into the project hoping that it will bring real value in return. Thus, mainnet tokens hold real value.

Blockchain technology has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past few years. It has already transformed many industries including banking, finance, healthcare, education, energy, logistics, insurance, e-commerce, etc. There are still many more areas where this technology can improve our lives. But, one thing we do know is that blockchain is here to stay. Therefore, it is imperative that we learn and understand this revolutionary technology so that we can take full advantage of its benefits.

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